Lectures 2006
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"Invisible staircαses"Xrysi Arampatzi

The search about the stairs hovers between the mythological legacy and the reality, the spatial effectual and ineffectual.

At first the essay sets out the architectural case study of the staircase and certain characteristics of its construction.

From prehistory to the modern world the staircase expresses the inherent human tendency to conquer gravity and get closer to the divine dimension of the world. The escalation motives or reasons of raising to another level vary from purely functional to symbolic during the course of evolution of the phenomenon of the staircase.

While expanding the terms of approaching the theme, the role of the staircase as a symbol in art is highlighted but also its multifunctional role as a special spatial element “open” to new use and action.

The body on the stairs undertakes a special action to cope with the kinetic determinism. The rest of the senses assist.

Moreover certain examples of staircases in art are examined more thoroughly where stairs appear as spatial elements or as a framework of dramatization (for example in Sophocles’s tragedy “Oedipus Tyrannous”).

Nowadays, space obtains more and more artificial dimensions. Therefore the escalation as a qualitative experience is under threat. Nevertheless, its symbolic role is continuously enriched and renewed.



Scale                Staircase          Escalation         Height